Jackrabbit sends out a large number of emails for our clients every day. A question we sometimes hear is "Why are some of my customers not receiving emails?" It is important to understand the process of email before working towards a solution!
Before getting started, though, it's even more important to understand what you can do to avoid problems with delivery rates.
What You Should Avoid
- Bad content: Avoid ALL CAPS and exclamation points !!!!! Don't use a red font when drafting your email, this is a common trick used by spammers.
- Issues with HTML: When composing emails, it is sometimes tempting to save time by converting Microsoft Word files to HTML, but this should be avoided because it can corrupt HTML. Broken HTML is a red flag for spam and will be sloppy and unreadable by most email clients.
- One big image: creating an HTML email containing an image with little or no text. Spam filters can’t read images and will assume you’re a spammer trying to trick them.
- Spam words: Act Now, Percent Off, Free Offer, etc. Check out this great Hubspot article The Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words.
One of the most common causes of spam complaints from recipients is failure to recognize the sender of the message. See Add Jackrabbit to Safe Senders List for more information.
Understand the Email Process
Let’s look at the route an email takes:
Step 1: Create and send email
You compose and send an email in Jackrabbit, directing the email to our server.
Step 2: Jackrabbit servers process the email
The email is queued and sorted with financial emails (e.g., statements and receipts) being flagged as a higher priority. The email status will show in your database as Pending.
The emails are then sent to one of Jackrabbit’s servers. The server processes and releases the email. As soon as it is delivered, the email will show as Complete in your database. The email is considered successful and is no longer controlled by Jackrabbit.
Step 3: The email travels via the internet
Now the emails are released to the internet, passing through several routers. A server examines the to address for validity and sorts it in the right direction. The from address is checked for good standing and to ensure it is not blacklisted.
Step 4: The email searches for its destination
As an email reaches the domain address, the receiving server must process it. Many emails are rejected because they look like spam. The domain server may also determine that the specific recipient doesn’t live there. Different domain servers have different rules and different filter strictness.
Step 5: The email reaches its destination
If the email is successfully processed above, it is forwarded to the recipient’s email program. It must pass through any rules or filters the recipient’s email program (Outlook, Gmail, etc.) uses and any filters the recipient applied in their personal settings. Even though the email made it to the recipient’s email program doesn’t mean the email is sitting in their Inbox. It could be in another folder, including the junk or spam folder.
Improve Your Deliverability Rate
Your deliverability rate is the percentage of emails sent that are delivered to the recipient. The recipient’s ISP and personal settings are the largest determination of your deliverability rate. However, there are actions you can take to increase the likelihood of emails arriving at their destination.
- Remove non-existent and undeliverable email addresses from your database. Reference the Email Bounce report.
- Stay current with email communication best practices to avoid triggering spam filters.
- Honor email opt-outs when sending mass marketing emails. Only include opt-outs for important notices like weather closures.
- Use a recognizable from email address and name, accompanied by a clear and relevant subject line. The subject line could prevent email providers from sending your email.